Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Worship Like a Football Player

Imagine for a moment that Worship = Football and our Sunday Morning Gatherings = a Football Game. Crazy, I know, but stick with me. What would your week look like? Well, you'd spend some time studying film, you'd spend some time planning with teammates and coaches, you'd spend some time working out, you'd spend some time on the field running through plays. And all that would culminate Sunday when you step out on the field for the big game!


 What if we treated our worship that way? What if we spent the whole week preparing, studying, meeting with other believers, serving, loving people, and praying so that when Sunday's "big game" rolled around, we'd be all practiced up? We'd be conditioned and ready to join our teammates "with One Voice, giving praise and glory to God..."

I confess that I've sometimes made the mistake of showing up Sunday morning completely unprepared. Oh, I had the music all ready and practiced up! But my heart was not in good enough shape because I hadn't been putting in the disciplined training required of a God-worshipper. Can you identify with me on that? Dragging in on Sunday morning....treating it as the practice instead of the game? As if one hour of practice a week is all we need, right? HA, who are we kidding?!

God looks forward to our-together worship. Let's make sure that--come Sunday--we're practiced up and ready to give Him our best TOGETHER!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ONE VOICE: Lord, I Need You



Lord, I Need You by Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher:

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee
-Robert Lowry, 1872

Both the song we’ve been learning the past few Sundays and the 141-year-old hymn it is based on are songs of confession. Thus, our new song begins “Lord I come I confess…” We confess that our lives fall apart without His holding us together. We confess that we are dead in sin without His grace. That we are simply wrong without His righteousness (aka right-ness).

It’s one thing to sing as though we need Him for our very breath. It’s another to live that way. Especially, in a society where we are not accustomed to needing much at all.  Haven’t you found it difficult to truly hunger and thirst for God when you scarcely fathom true hunger or thirst? I certainly have.

And yet we sing. We sing boldly and loudly of our profound need in hopes that it might just sink in a little more each time. That maybe tomorrow we’ll ask more boldly, seek more persistently, and knock a little harder on the door of the throne room of God Almighty who stands ready to freely give all we will ever need by the power of His Spirit.

Find It:

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes. 


Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ONE VOICE: Before the Throne, Verse 3



Before the Throne of God by Charitie Lees Bancroft:

There is so much depth and purpose found in each line of this new song we’ve begun to learn, let's explore the final verse.

VERSE III
Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I Am
The King of Glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God

This final verse is so humbling. Any righteousness or “rightness” before God that I might claim is actually His. Jesus, the Lamb of God, made things right for you and I.  And by choosing to find identity in Him, I receive this incredible assurance that my soul—purchased at highest price—cannot die. Rather it is hidden away safely in His keeping.

Thank you, Father, for your great promises and truth. And thank you for writers like this one who have penned it so passionately and eloquently for us to proclaim. When we sing, may we do so unified in the worship of Christ our Savior and our God. Amen. (Visit Part 1 or Part 2)


Find It:

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.


Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil
Visit LifeQuest’s facebook page @ facebook.com/yourlifequest

Visit LifeQuest’s website @ yourlifequest.org

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ONE VOICE: Before the Throne, Verse 2



Before the Throne of God by Charitie Lees Bancroft:

There is so much depth and purpose found in each line of this new song, let's continue exploring one verse at a time.

VERSE II
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me

As I begin to sing this verse, I call to mind times in my life where doubts have creeped in. I can remember times of crisis where I asked the questions like “How can I know that I’m saved???” The song answers questions like that beautifully: you get your eyes up where they belong!

And this verse finishes with one of the deepest, most powerful statements in the whole song: “For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.” This is one of the great paradoxes of our God. He is both completely just and completely love. When that justice and love met, it was on a cross.

More to come…(Visit Part 1 or Part 3)

Find It:

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.


Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil
Visit LifeQuest’s facebook page @ facebook.com/yourlifequest

Visit LifeQuest’s website @ yourlifequest.org

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ONE VOICE: Before the Throne, Verse 1



Before the Throne of God by Charitie Lees Bancroft:

There is so much depth and purpose found in each line of this song we’ve begun to learn, I’d like to take a quick look one verse at a time over the next few weeks.

VERSE I
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heav'n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

The thing that impresses upon me most as I sing this verse is the Scripture it calls to mind. Two passages, in particular. First, the reference to Christ, our High Priest, as described in the book of Hebrews: “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God…let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:14, 16 NLT).

Second, the reference to our names “graven on His hands” calls to mind one of my favorite of God’s promises: “…I would not forget you! See I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15, 16 NLT). How incredible that God would promise this some 700 years before Christ would literally have his hands engraved for us. I trust when He says He won’t forget me and I love how this song reminds me of that.

More to come… (Visit Part 2 or Part 3)

Find It:

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.


Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil
Visit LifeQuest’s facebook page @ facebook.com/yourlifequest

Visit LifeQuest’s website @ yourlifequest.org